Tomas, Stacy Renee (2007-12). The effects of selected visual cues on tourists' perceptions of quality and satisfaction, and on their behavioral intentions. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • In tourism, the product is the experience. The destination sets the stage, which facilitates the experience. First impressions, based largely on visual cues in the environment, help to determine the level of quality tourists should expect from their encounter. While much research has focused on destination image in advertising, little attention has been given to on-site assessments of tourists' perceptions of the visual environment. This study had three specific objectives. The first was to determine if changes in the visual environment affect respondents' attitudes, perceptions of quality and satisfaction. The second objective set out to determine which visual quality elements have the strongest influence on respondents' attitudes, their perceptions of quality and satisfaction. The final objective was to explore the interrelationship between attitudes, quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Utilizing a series of digitally modified photographs and an experimental design approach with three treatments, this study examined how selected visual environmental cues affected respondents' perceptions. The relatively high adjusted R2 values across the three treatments suggests the strong influence of visual quality elements on hedonic (R2 values ranging from .16 to .27) and utilitarian attitudes (R2 values ranging from .16 to .24), and particularly on satisfaction (R2 values ranging from .31 to .44) and overall quality (R2 values ranging from .28 to .35). The visual cues having the strongest influence on perceptions were level of crowding, available seating, maintenance and upkeep, and type of signage. Utilizing structural equation modeling, this study examined the interrelationship between the endogenous variables in the model. The influence of hedonic attitude on overall quality and satisfaction was confirmed, but the influence of utilitarian attitude on overall quality and satisfaction was not. This suggests that some tourism experiences are more hedonic in nature. This research supports previous literature suggesting that a high level of quality will result in a high level of satisfaction for the visitors (significant path estimate of .422). Additionally, standardized path coefficients indicate that overall quality (.416) and satisfaction (.486) were both related to behavioral intentions, with satisfaction being a stronger predictor.
  • In tourism, the product is the experience. The destination sets the stage, which
    facilitates the experience. First impressions, based largely on visual cues in the
    environment, help to determine the level of quality tourists should expect from their
    encounter. While much research has focused on destination image in advertising, little
    attention has been given to on-site assessments of tourists' perceptions of the visual
    environment.
    This study had three specific objectives. The first was to determine if changes in
    the visual environment affect respondents' attitudes, perceptions of quality and
    satisfaction. The second objective set out to determine which visual quality elements
    have the strongest influence on respondents' attitudes, their perceptions of quality and
    satisfaction. The final objective was to explore the interrelationship between attitudes,
    quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions.
    Utilizing a series of digitally modified photographs and an experimental design
    approach with three treatments, this study examined how selected visual environmental cues affected respondents' perceptions. The relatively high adjusted R2 values across the
    three treatments suggests the strong influence of visual quality elements on hedonic (R2
    values ranging from .16 to .27) and utilitarian attitudes (R2 values ranging from .16 to
    .24), and particularly on satisfaction (R2 values ranging from .31 to .44) and overall
    quality (R2 values ranging from .28 to .35). The visual cues having the strongest
    influence on perceptions were level of crowding, available seating, maintenance and
    upkeep, and type of signage.
    Utilizing structural equation modeling, this study examined the interrelationship
    between the endogenous variables in the model. The influence of hedonic attitude on
    overall quality and satisfaction was confirmed, but the influence of utilitarian attitude on
    overall quality and satisfaction was not. This suggests that some tourism experiences are
    more hedonic in nature. This research supports previous literature suggesting that a high
    level of quality will result in a high level of satisfaction for the visitors (significant path
    estimate of .422). Additionally, standardized path coefficients indicate that overall
    quality (.416) and satisfaction (.486) were both related to behavioral intentions, with
    satisfaction being a stronger predictor.

publication date

  • December 2007